Action for Children and me, by Ryan Jordan

Running and me

I like running. Not everyone does. But it works for me. I have a demanding job. And a young family. Running is my time to think. If I can, I’ll run three or four times a week in addition to a couple of leg-strengthening sessions at my gym. I also play football for the Leighton Phoenix Vets.

Taking Action for Children

I chose to raise money for Action for Children for a few reasons. I wanted to run for a charity because I knew it would motivate me during those cold winter sessions. And as a father to two young children, I appreciate the fact that not all children are as lucky as mine. Triad has been associated with Action for Children for a while now, so I have seen some incredible examples of the work that they do with young people. When I decided to run for charity, Action for Children was the only charity that I considered.

The London Marathon

Preparing for a marathon takes a special effort. I am lucky that my wife Sophie is so understanding.

My favourite training route can be varied between 16 and 20 miles. It goes from my house in Newport Pagnell straight onto the canal down to my parents in Leighton Buzzard.

Training went well. I had a few niggles. That’s normal. But I got scared the week before when I went to pick up the dog and felt a slight twinge in my side. Luckily, some heat packs meant I started injury free, though it added to the pre-marathon nerves.

I have run two marathons before this one, so I knew what to expect. But the London marathon is special. The sights. The spectators. The community spirit you feel on the course. And the other fund raisers around you too. I talked to a guy called Dave who in 1999 pledged to run 25 London Marathons for the Samaritans after calling them when he was contemplating suicide. I met him on the start line wearing a giant telephone suit! It was his 25thLondon Marathon fundraiser.

Dave Lock running the course in his Samaritan outfit

“Run Ryan run!”

The weather was good on the day. I could have done with some rain to cool me down, but the crowds kept me going, shouting my name. My family were out on the course, but it was so busy that I didn’t see any of them until mile 19 when I also got a massive cheer from the Action for Children crew. And again, at mile 25.

Cramp kicked in at mile 21. It took a lot of mental focus to buckle down and get the final 5 miles done. I kept thinking about why I was running. And how lucky I was to have a loving family out here to support me. My son had written me a good luck note on a post-it note which I had in my pocket. Anyone watching me finish would have seen me raise it to the sky as I crossed the line!

I finished in 03:52. I had hoped for 3:45, but it’s a busy course and I am happy with that time.

Afterwards, I went to see the Action for Children crew, who greeted me with a standing ovation and some bell ringing! That was a nice touch. I think they appreciate how demanding training and running a marathon can be. But I wouldn’t want to have done it for any other charity. So far, I have raised £1,200 and my target is £1,500.

Ryan at the Action for Children after party

The road to reflection

Preparing for a marathon is not to be underestimated. Lots of hours on your feet running. And you’ll need time at the physio and the gym too.  I think it’s a mental test more than a physical one. It’s not an easy process. But you cross that finish line, look at the medal, go and see the people that you have raised the money for, and it is 100% worth it. I think that’s why people do it time and time again.

There are not many people who have said they have run the London marathon. So, if you are reading this and wondering whether to enter, I would say YES, go get signed up. And contact me if you’d like any advice.

It is not too late to sponsor Ryan. If you would like to help him raise money for Action for Children then Just click on this link here.

If you would like to challenge yourself and raise money for Action for Children, then check out their event page here.

If you have a question for Ryan or the Triad team, please get in touch.